HOUSTON (SPORTSRADIO 610) – The biggest story involving the Houston Texans over the past three days has had little to do with football. It’s been about the comments made by Texans owner Bob McNair at league meetings in regard to the players: “We can’t let the inmates run the prison.”
Most of the Texans knelt for the national anthem to show unity before Sunday’s 41 – 38 loss to the Seahawks. Per Texans Head Coach Bill O’Brien, the team hopes to move forward and get back to focusing on football.
“Hopefully we can move forward,” said O’Brien at his Monday press conference. “I talked to a few guys after the game, I’m not saying I talked to every player after the game, but I talked to a few guys and it’s really time to move forward and concentrate of football. In the end, we’re here to coach and to play football and to win football games. That’s ultimately what we’re judged upon. These players have a voice, there’s no doubt about it. These players are bright guys that have deep feelings about all different kinds of social issues, but we need to put together a game plan to beat the Indianapolis Colts, and that’s the most important thing and I think our players realize that.”
O’Brien did say he was impressed by the team’s focus despite all the off the field distractions.
“The last three days, there’s obviously been a lot going on, and these guys really came out and focused on the game,” said O’Brien. “You have to give our players a lot of credit. There’s no moral victories but I think it just showed the character of this team.”
O’Brien was asked about the key to coaching a team through off the field distractions.
“Understand the players’ feelings,” replied O’Brien. “Understand that you have 63 guys in that locker room that come from all different types of backgrounds, all different parts of the country. Make sure you listen to the players, and at the end of the day, you support the players. The players are the ones going out there and putting it on the line for us every week. I feel like our coaching staff and our players have a very important bond, and that’s key. That’s why I’ve always, since I started coaching when I was a graduate assistant, it’s always been about the players for me.”
“Going through that experience at Penn State was a big help for me, personally,” continued O’Brien. “I had a lot of great guys around me, with the players that were there and then obviously we had a great coaching staff there. It’s very, very different here relative to what we’re talking about. But we have a great group of guys in that locker room and a great coaching staff. I think you learn from all your experiences and you just try to judge it and try to deal with it in the best way possible.”
There have been rumors about Texans tackle Duane Brown possibly being traded before Tuesday’s trade deadline. O’Brien was asked about them.
“I coach the team, that’s what I do,” answered O’Brien. “Duane (Brown) played well yesterday. Obviously he’s played well for us for a number of years. I have a lot of respect for Duane, but that’s the business side of things, and I just concentrate on coaching the team.”
Paul Gallant hosts “Gallant at Night” – Tuesday 9-11 PM CT, Wednesdays and Fridays 8-11 PM CT – on SportsRadio 610. He also hosts SportsZone Unfiltered – Fridays at 10 PM – on The Kube: Channel 57. Get in touch with Paul via email or his facebook page.